Isaiah 52:13-53:12? Psalm 22 ?Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9? John 19
IT IS FINISHED

Dear fellow redeemed children of Christ the crucified, 

Our Lord Jesus hung on the cross on the day we mark today. The God who created everything was suspended between the heavens and the earth. Jesus was lifted up as His hands and feet were nailed to the tree of life, the tree which is now two crossed beams of wood. The word of Jesus before He gave up the Spirit was this: “It is finished.”

It is finished. Everything is finished here. The vicious scourging of the Roman guards is finished. The striking and mocking is finished. The cowardly sentencing by Pilate is over. The taunting and insulting of the passersby and the criminals is done. The bleeding, thirsting, suffering, and dying – it is all finished.

Much more than the death of one man has been finished on Good Friday. The man Jesus died, the God who became man; He fully and completely and finally died. But Jesus finished more than His earthly life that day. He finished the salvation of you and all mortals!

 

Isaiah 52:13-53:12? Psalm 22 ?Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9? John 19
IT IS FINISHED

Dear fellow redeemed children of Christ the crucified, 

Our Lord Jesus hung on the cross on the day we mark today. The God who created everything was suspended between the heavens and the earth. Jesus was lifted up as His hands and feet were nailed to the tree of life, the tree which is now two crossed beams of wood. The word of Jesus before He gave up the Spirit was this: “It is finished.”

It is finished. Everything is finished here. The vicious scourging of the Roman guards is finished. The striking and mocking is finished. The cowardly sentencing by Pilate is over. The taunting and insulting of the passersby and the criminals is done. The bleeding, thirsting, suffering, and dying – it is all finished.

Much more than the death of one man has been finished on Good Friday. The man Jesus died, the God who became man; He fully and completely and finally died. But Jesus finished more than His earthly life that day. He finished the salvation of you and all mortals!

Jesus was despised and rejected by men. Men hid their faces from Him (Is. 53:3). Not only His disciples had deserted Him; everyone had deserted Him. You had left Jesus behind for greater and better things, things of this world, things that cannot save you from your sins. Jesus is the One from whom we hide our faces, because we cannot bear to see the innocent and perfect God-man die in such a horrible way.

Jesus was despised and rejected by all men, for all have sinned. Our sins and iniquities from every moment of our lives are such a great weight that they crushed Jesus’ body unto death. Not only was Jesus despised and rejected by men; He was rejected by His own Father. Our sins and iniquities are so great that God looked away from His own Son, whom He loved.

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin…” (2 Cor. 5:21) God is so holy that He will not coexist with sin. When Jesus was suspended and lifted up on the tree between the heavens and the earth, God looked at Him and saw the sins of every man, woman and child that have ever been committed. Jesus bore our sins in His body. God the Father forsook Him completely. “It is finished.”

Jesus suffered a horrible physical death. But He suffered the pangs of hell, too. “The wages of sin is death” – not just physical death where the soul and body are separated, but spiritual and eternal death where one is separated from the God who made you. Jesus suffered the damnation of hell to save His children from hell. 

Consider the depth of the death of this person Jesus. “Being found in human form,” “though He was in the form of God,” He “made Himself nothing…” (Phil. 2:6-8) God, the immortal One who is above all and present everywhere and all-powerful and all-mighty – He became nothing in the human body of Jesus Christ. He was cut off. He was crushed, and it was all for our transgressions (Is. 53:5, 8, 10).

Contemplate the depth of Jesus’ death – Jesus, who is God! Our God died on Good Friday! The eternal, Almighty God who created you and loves you and watches over you made the ultimate sacrifice of His own human body for your sake. You could spend a lifetime and never fully understand it! You could spend an eternity and still rejoice in awe of it. 

Usually, the reign of a king is marked from the day He inherits the throne until the day he abdicates, or until the day he dies. But with this King, Jesus, King of the Jews, His reign began when He died. “It is finished” – God’s plan of salvation has culminated in Jesus’ death, and His gracious reign over all things is now here. 

“It is finished .” Jesus left no loose ends on earth and no unfinished business. “Woman, behold, your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” That disciple, whom Jesus loved, was charged with the holy responsibility of caring for the blessed woman who bore Jesus’ body in her womb and gave birth to Him. The disciple also had the awe-some responsibility of recording the death of Jesus in the sacred writings for the Body of Christ – the Christian Church.

“He who saw it has borne witness – his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth – that you also may believe.” (Jn. 19:35) Jesus left nothing unfinished and no loose ends – He has preserved the eyewitness record of His death for you so that you may believe and have life! Moses and the prophets and the Psalms are all fulfilled. They are finished. 

The last Passover also happened on Good Friday. “It is finished.” Jesus was the last Lamb to be sacrificed, the only one that could take away sins. No more blood sprinkled on the congregation in worship (Ex. 24:8): now, Jesus’ blood shall sprinkle many nations (Is. 52:15). No more sacrificial lambs and burnt offerings given by priests: Jesus went to His sacrificial death like a lamb that is led to the slaughter (Is. 53:7).

Jesus left nothing unfinished with the old covenant. He fulfilled it, instituting a new covenant of His Body and Blood given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. This covenant is in place until He comes again.

This covenant is seen in the water and the blood that flow out of Jesus’ side when the soldier pierced it with a spear. God created Eve out of a rib from the side of Adam and closed the place up with flesh (Gn. 2:21-22). On Good Friday, God created the Christian Church from the side of Jesus Christ when His blood and water flowed out from His Body.

The blood and the water are still flowing, freely and without limit. The Body of Christ is still given, once for all on the cross, but for all time thereafter in the Lord’s Supper. The fact that “It is finished” means that Jesus finished the salvation of our souls, and simultaneously established the means by which we are fed the food of salvation for the rest of time.

The water still flows from Jesus’ side as it is combined with God’s Word and promise that everyone who believes and is baptized shall be saved (Mk. 16:16). Jesus saves. Baptism saves (1 Pt. 3:21). There is no contradiction but instead a continuation. You have been clothed with the crucified Christ and you are members of His Body, the Church. It is finished.

You are also joined to Christ’s Body by drinking the blood that flowed from His side. Jesus promised that “whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life… [He] abides in me and I in him.” (Jn. 6:54, 56) The blood and water flowed out for your sake. You eat and drink His Body and Blood for the forgiveness of all your sins. You are washed with water and God’s Word so that you are born again from above. You are a member of the Body of Christ.

“It is finished .” Now that you are united with Jesus in His death, you proclaim His death until He comes. Now that you are united with Jesus in His death, you do not have to try and merit forgiveness by your suffering or your efforts or good intentions. It is finished for you; it is finished fully and completely. There is nothing you can add to it. You are saved by God’s grace, and He will never forsake you.

Jesus was forsaken by God on the cross for our sins. But this means that God will never forsake you. God promised Israel: “Be strong and courageous. [I] will not leave you or forsake you.” (Dt. 31:6, Heb. 13:5) God is not far off (Ps. 22:19). He hears you when you cry out to Him in prayer (v. 24). He does not hide His face from you as He did to His beloved Son, because His Son bore your sin and took it away in His death.

“It is finished .” You are still afflicted with sin until you die; but nevertheless, it is finished. Your sin is taken away and God continues to forgive you. “The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the LORD!” (Ps. 22:26) Indeed, you can still eat and be satisfied. Your greatest need is not for the food that perishes, but for the food that feeds your soul, and Jesus gives it to you because of the salvation He has finished for you.

“When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up the Spirit.” The Spirit is with you now as He leads you into all truth and sanctifies you for good deeds. Jesus’ work is finished, but He continues to fill you with His Spirit as He puts your sin to death and raises you to new life.

“Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that their bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for the Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away.” Good Friday was the day of the Passover, when the angel of the LORD passed over the houses that were covered with the blood of the lamb. Good Friday was also the 6th day of the week, the day before Saturday: the Sabbath. 

On the Sabbath, the Jews rested from all their work, because God rested on the 7th day after He created all things. On the 6th day, God had made man in His own image. On Good Friday, the 6th day of the week, God created you anew through the death of Jesus Christ, whose blood has purchased you from sin and death. On Good Friday, the 6th day, Jesus restored you, His good creation. And on the 7th day, God rested from all his work. “It is finished.”

In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

 

Luther Memorial Chapel & University Student Center | 3833 N Maryland Ave | Shorewood, WI  53211
(414) 332-5732 |lmcusc@lmcusc.org

Divine Service: Sundays - 9:00a Mondays - 7:00p Bible Study & Sunday School: Sundays - 10:45a